What better way to bury the hatchet — er, snow shovel — than with an oversize pair of scissors?
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the ribbon to a revamped TODAY Plaza Monday while making nice with weather anchor Al Roker, an outspoken critic of how the mayor has handled city school closures during recent snowstorms.
“We’ll get this out of the way,” Roker said, referring to the spat he started with the mayor over Twitter. “We had a little ‘chat’ about school closings and snow. We both want the best for schoolkids and our city.”
Roker recently took de Blasio to task for his decision to first keep schools open amid a snowstorm earlier this month and then letting schools out early as the storm worsened.
On Monday, a conciliatory de Blasio said he understood Roker’s main concern was over safety.
“Together, letting people know what’s going on with the weather, letting people know how they can be safe. That’s something we do together,” he said.
The mayor, noting that more snow was forecast this week, then handed Roker an official cap from the city’s sanitation department.
“If you’d like to come out and join us for snow clearance, this could be a new part of your career,” he said.
Roker put the hat on and accepted the offer.
“I’d love to do it,” he said. “My dad used to be a bus driver and he used to drive a snow-clearing bus. So I’d love to do it. New York’s strongest!” De Blasio captured the moment in a selfie and tweeted it:
The occasion that brought Roker and de Blasio together in person for the first time was the ribbon-cutting on a newly refurbished TODAY plaza that will help visitors get the most out of their experience.
A new arch now marks the location, and a check-in kiosk allows people to mark their arrival. There also is a station where visitors can make posters to hold up for display before cameras.
De Blasio said he expects the changes to help raise the plaza’s profile as a tourist destination.
“People love this part of our town, and this makes it even better,” the mayor said. “And I think it’s going to be an exciting addition to New York City. All I can say is, come visit. Wherever you are in the country, come visit and be a part of this.”